Updating this blog really shot all the way down on my list of priorities these past couple of months. I didn’t intend it to. I started feeling discouraged with my training and usually felt like I had more important things to worry about than writing. Also, maybe not writing was a way to avoid having to face my discouragments. This was probably the opposite of how I should have (and how I wish I had) handled it, which would have been to embrace the situation and face my fears head on.
As a young Canadian named Alanis once said, you live, you learn.
Now that I’ve had a chance to breathe a bit, I’ll continue writing about my marathon training. To consolidate the last several weeks, I’ll group them into two or three weeks per post. I didn’t do much running during this period but for the sake of being a completist, I’ll list all of my workouts and anything else I can think of that’s pertinent.
Thanks for reading this so far after the fact.
In this post, I’ll sum up weeks 10, 11, and 12 of my training for the 2019 NYC Marathon.
Up until week 10, I was following the training plan of my running club the New York Harriers. After week 10, it all kind of went out the window and I just did what I could.
WEEK 10: September 9 – 15
Tuesday: EZ (5.13 miles @ 9:44 pace)
Wednesday: Intervals (10.1 miles total w/ 6 x 800 @ HMP)
Tough workout with the Harriers but got through it. Ran extra miles after.
Friday: Tempo (10.03 miles total w/ 6M @ MP)
This was a great morning. I ran with the Harriers and maintained an average 8:07 pace for 6 miles, a few seconds faster than my goal marathon pace. According to Strava, it was my fastest time up Harlem Hill since I started tracking a year and a half ago, including races. This workout was a huge confidence booster. (The pic above is from after that run with some fellow faster-than-me Harriers I managed to keep up with; it was the only running photo I took that week.)
That evening, my heels started to feel sore.
Saturday: EZ (6.1 miles @ 9:55 pace)
First significant sign of heel pain. I ran anyway, figuring it would be like all my other little sore spots that never lasted long. I stuck mostly to Central Park’s bridle path for a softer surface. The soreness didn’t fade.
Sunday: Yoga with Adriene: Yoga for the Feet
Today was supposed to be my 22 mile run but my heels were still sore. I thought it was better to rest and do a simple yoga routine that might help my feet. I hated losing such an important long run but had a feeling it wouldn’t have been smart to run today.
I also knew the Cow Harbor 10K was the following weekend.
WEEK 10 MILEAGE: 31.36
So week 10 started out great and took a turn at the end. I’d had sore foot parts before and usually a few days’ rest was all it took to get better. I thought maybe this was all it was.
WEEK 11: September 16 – 22
Wednesday: Fitness Blender: Glute Activation Workout
Thursday: EZ (3.4 miles @ 9:55 pace)
After four days of not running I was hoping my heels would feel better, but they were still a little sore. It seemed to come and go. I ran this short run in Riverside Park wearing a new pair of Hoka Arahi 3s with Dr. Scholl’s plantar fasciitis inserts. I had no idea if running in inserts was going to help or hurt me, but I did like the way they felt when I walked, so I figured I’d try them out on a short run.
Friday: EZ (4.25 miles @ 9:38 pace)
I wore Saucony Kinvaras for this run (my go-to race shoe) and alternated wearing and not wearing the PF inserts, spending a half a mile either with or without. I was trying to decide if I should wear them for the Cow Harbor 10K the following day – which I was nervous about. I just wanted my heels to feel better.
Saturday: Race – Cow Harbor 10K
I’m going to write the recap for this next. I did finish it and my heels were sore the whole time. Not enough to make me limp or anything, but enough that it wasn’t exactly an enjoyable race.
WEEK 11 MILEAGE: 15.42
Week 11 was tricky: my heels were sore and not seeming to get better AND I had an important race on Saturday. The Cow Harbor 10K is in my hometown of Northport, Long Island, and it meant a lot for me to be able to do it. The smarter thing to do would probably have been to blow it off. I’m still not sure if racing it made my feet worse.
WEEK 12: September 23 – 29
Friday: EZ (1.5 miles @ 10:39 pace)
I ran this mostly on grass in Riverside Park. It wasn’t so much a workout as it was a test to see how my feet felt and what it was like running with slightly different gaits (turns out not so good, as you can’t fix this stuff overnight). It was the only day I ran this week.
WEEK 12 MILEAGE: 1.5
This was definitely a “recovery” week. Obviously, I wasn’t following my training plan anymore. My heels were just too sore to run so I tried making up for it the best I could with strength training and yoga. At this point I was pretty sure it was plantar fasciitis and not a stress fracture or anything to do with the bones – it just felt like sore tissue on the heel, and seemed to be a little worse in my right foot.
By the way, I should mention Yoga with Adriene, as you’ve probably seen a lot of her workouts on my schedule. Many runners (and non-runners) already know of her because she has hundreds of free yoga videos on her channel. As with Fitness Blender, I appreciate free workouts. I don’t belong to a gym and have limited time, so it’s been nice to be able to do some serious stretching in the comfort of my own home. (No, I don’t do crazy headstands or anything – just easy stretching videos.) Thanks Adriene, even though you will never read this.
Next up: my Cow Harbor 10K recap, then the next few weeks of marathon training.